Glencore Agrees to Pay Congo $180M over Corruption Accusations

Published: 07 December 2022

open-pit-miningGlencore is a long-standing investor in Congo. (Photo: S. Hermann/F. Richter, Pixabay, License)

By Vinicius Madureira

The Swiss commodity trading and mining giant Glencore will pay US$180 million to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after reaching an agreement with Congolese authorities on allegations of corruption between 2007 and 2018.

Glencore is “a long-standing investor” in this Central African country and is pleased to have “reached this Agreement to address the consequences of its past conduct,” Kalidas Madhavpeddi, the company’s chairman, said in a statement.

Thierry Mbulamoko, the head of Congo’s Agency for Prevention and the Fight against Corruption said in a tweet that he welcomes the agreement “to alleviate the consequences of the company’s past actions.”

“I congratulate our anti-corruption institutions and the government for this success,” he added.

This move comes on the heels of the company pleading guilty earlier this year to multiple counts of bribery and market manipulation and agreeing to pay penalties of up to $1.1 billion related to U.S., U.K. and Brazilian corruption allegations.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Glencore admitted that some of its employees and agents agreed to pay more than $27 million to third-party intermediaries to work under the table to secure improper business advantages to the Swiss-based company, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

A portion of the payments were allegedly used to bribe high-ranking DRC officials.

Glencore and its affiliated companies in the DRC obtained “at least $43 million in benefits related to their mining operations from the corrupt resolutions" with the local government and its agencies, prosecutors said.

In addition to returning millions to the DRC, Glencore stated it will continue to implement an ethics and compliance program in the country “committed to continue to implement in its resolution with the DOJ.”

“This Agreement is governed by Congolese law and the only admissions made are in respect of the conduct already acknowledged in Glencore’s resolution with the DOJ,” read the Glencore's news release.

Regarding new compliance initiatives, Madhavpeddi said Glencore “has actively promoted its ethics and compliance program in the DRC in recent years” and continues “to work with the DRC authorities and other stakeholders to facilitate good governance and ethical business practices in the country.”